One paragraph reviews on art, movies, books, and pop culture by a know-nothing who knows it all

Monday, April 24, 2006

Seek My Sentence Structure

I just started reading John Updike's "Seek My Face," whose lead character bears a passing resemblance to Lee Krasner. So far, however, I wonder if this book will be more of a chore than a pleasure. Check out this ouch-full first paragraph on the first page:
"Let me begin by reading to you," says the young woman, her slender, black-clad figure tensely jackknifed on the edge of the easy chair, with its faded coarse plaid and broad arms of orangish varnished oak, which Hope first knew in the Germantown sunroom, her grandfather posed in it reading the newspaper, his head tilted back to gain the benefit of his thick bifocals, more than, yes, seventy years ago, "a statement of yours from a catalogue of your last show, back in 1996."
It still hurts to reread this opening paragraph. Donde esta su editor? But this is John Updike. Imagine an editor saying, "Hey, this opening paragraph could use some work" to this novelist. Don't think so. We'll see if Updike can pull himself out of this initial hole.